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OMG the oneupmanship does indeed start early.

33 replies

akaJamiesMum · 19/05/2007 21:14

Out for lunch with DH yesterday. DS was at nursery - we both had a day off and thought we'd make the most of some child free time.
We went to a local bistro place which does beautiful food and settled in to enjoy a nice leisurely lunch when we started overhearing a woman talking loudly on the next table. And I do mean loudly - not evesdropping as you could not miss what she had to say.

"Isabella's doing really well. We had a letter home from her school saying she has been assessed as among the "gifted and talented" so she's now attending special sessions once a week. It's great - they give her scenarios and work on problem solving etc".

By this point DH is already giggling (no manners at all) but it got worse.

"I knew she was bright - I do feel she needs stretching - the local school will be alright for a couple of years but then we'll need to look around for a private one"

DH is practically puce by now and I am kicking him under the table.

and then..... the best bit.

"Well of course next year she leaves the reception class so there will be a new teacher - I hope she is as good as the one Isabella's leaving"

This finished me - gifted and talented - reception all in one sentence - bloody hell - does this mean my DS will be written off at 4-5 if his ability to hold a pencil (which is already giving cause for concern) doesn't improve? Just glad he's not in with this superbright "Isabella"

OP posts:
edam · 19/05/2007 21:15

PMSL, bless the silly woman!

virgo · 19/05/2007 21:27

can't see the problem with that really - it's not as if she was having the conversation with you personally - she was chatting to her husband about their child - dh and me have loads of v 'proud' conversations about our children - for entirely different reasons ( a daydreamer ds aged 8 and yes a so called labelled G&T 5 year old - prob have been unwittingly listened into over the years also - also all school have g&T lists like it or loathe it - imho you can spot a bright child from a v early age much earlier than reception - brightness doesn't necessarily bring money, hapiness, success or popularity though - why does everyone get so hot under the collar about academic intelligence - I bet you wouldn't have felt the same way if the conversation had been about their child's football prowess or whatever - that's the way to look at it - every child's a winner in different ways of course...

katierocket · 19/05/2007 21:39

My oldest brother was identified as being very bright as soon as he went to school (wasn't called G&T then). And he did go on to be extremely bright.

tigermoth · 19/05/2007 21:49

Virgo, it might depend on the tone of voice and the loudness of the conversatiom. I have 'proud' discussions about my sons with my dh, but usually in the privacy of our own home.

I get the impression this woman was singing her child's praises in public for all to hear.

But if it's her first child in their first year at school, then I think she is being a bit naive( meant in a nice way) to take it so seriously.

edam · 19/05/2007 21:51

Virgo, 'the local school will be alright for a couple of years but then we'll need to look around for a private one" is the bit that convinced me the woman is a prize one idiot, not just a besotted mother.

virgo · 19/05/2007 21:55

maybe she's just loud - we had a 'loud' mum when ds was in reception not reading at all - who used to dive in his school bag and whip out a 'high level' reading book and wave it around in the playground complaining that the level wasn't good enough and that she needed to go into the library herslef to change it - now that was annoying and i do remember bitching about it at the time - but he WAS bright and maybe she was right

hana · 19/05/2007 21:59

there's a mum at school who takes out her daughter's reading folder and takes out the books to have a look and makes sure everyone knows which books she is reading
odd as lots of children are reading above that level, I think it's very attention seeking myself (what I've described, not what you witnessed)

virgo · 19/05/2007 22:13

brightens your day though doesn't it - playground politics and mingling with all these other 'new' types of parents who deal with their children in completely different ways to us

akaJamiesMum · 20/05/2007 08:06

Was really just amazed that they pick children out in reception in this way. My DS starts in September so I've not been involved in the school assessment stuff before. Couldn't blame this Mum for being proud but was just amazed by the fact that this was a reception year little girl - and also the opinion of this Mum that the local primary wouldn't be good enough in a couple of years - especially as the local schools here are all very good.

OP posts:
Eve · 20/05/2007 08:14

virgo... can i ask a question.. i have an 8yrd old ds who struggles... sits at average and a v bright ds 5.. same as you.

my 8yr old is already commenting on its not fair that ds2 finds it so much easier? i feel so sorry for ds1, but make sure he gets lots of praise for what he does.

how do you manage the different abilities?

virgo · 20/05/2007 11:47

Eve - Its difficult - but my son doesn't seem to notice - he considers his younger sister as a total annoyance most of the time - I think the school don't handle it brilliantly though - they make such a fuss of my dd and completely the opposite of ds - parents evenings are hilarious - the first is full of fantastic praise and 'i don't think you understand how unusually bright your daught is mr and mrs....' to then ds's where it's all 'now where shall we start....'etc etc - I take allof it with a heavy dose of salt - On the onehand we watching out for precauciousness(sp??) of dd whilst also trying to encourage ds to be interested in learning which unless its about roman soldiers etc he is simply do you manage (although thsi might be hijacking the thread)...

Lilymaid · 20/05/2007 12:03

Our neighbour asked for extra homework for his DD when they were on the introductory visit to the reception class.

virgo · 20/05/2007 12:03

I have to admit that when ds was at pre-school I too thought that you can't tell until much later whether a child is so called 'gifted' acedemically ie v bright - however I now think differently - you can just spot the 'brihgt' ones - fairly easily I would have thought as a pre shcool teacher or reception teacher - to be quite honest its v obvious - reading at an early age is a good one but not everything esp if your gift is with numbers or technology or art...its the quickness of mind that takes you by surprise that gives it away - can't quite define it all but you can pretty much tell - ds has lots of other qualities which I love him for obviously and I couldn't give two hoots about the fact he's not going to be as acedemically competatn as his younger daughter (although I think he may be brilliant at roman history/warhammer battles etc!. I notice unusual brightness in other toddlers - its just something you become aware of after spending years with your firends pre school children and at the shcool gates etc - IMHO its brilliant that they are trying to pick on childrens qualities earlier - otherwise they could quickly lose interest.

twinsetandpearls · 20/05/2007 12:17

My dd in reception is very clever and has her maths and literacy lessons further up ther school and I would probably share that news in a restaurant with someon I know would be interested. I don't think that would warrant someone taking the piss

maggiems · 20/05/2007 12:23

Virgo - do you mind me asking( and sorry to hijack) whether your Ds was always a dreamer and if his class mates pick up on the fact. I have DT's nearly six, one of whom struggles and has a pretty limited concnetration span (apart from discussions around super heroes and the like). The Dt's had one friend around yesterday (I normally have 2 as 3 is not a great number) . He is really Dt1's friend and the pair of them ganged up on Dt2. The friend said "Dt2 is always saying to the teacher" I need some help here" because he never listens.". Another older girl in their class said something similiar to me some time ago. I didnt mind the girl so much as she was a year older (DT's youngest in class) but really upset by the friends comment as he is also one of the youngest. Just worried how this will impact on Dt2 when he gets a bit older. Already he seems to know that he doesnt get his work completed as quickly as others but he is not very perturbed by it yet. Maybe your DS wasnt in the same league as my Dt2 as regards concentration but i would be interested to hear anyway.

akaJamiesMum · 20/05/2007 12:23

I was fine until she said the word "reception". Not taking the piss - just genuinely amazed that they can tell that early.

OP posts:
akaJamiesMum · 20/05/2007 12:42

Well blow me down with a feather. You know what? I honestly did not know this program for identifying children existed. A whole website about it.
here Very interesting stuff.

OP posts:
virgo · 20/05/2007 15:08

akajamiesmum- there's a whole thread on MN for Gifted and Talented - it doesn have benefits in that dd has numercay and reading with year 1 - the (state) school have been pretty good BUT she's only been lsitened to reading wise by a teacher about 6 times since Septemeber because I think they think she's a good reader and leave her to it whilst they teach others the phonic sounds a receptionwords - they said to me at parents evening that she came to school having compelted the early learning goals for reception and year 1 and were at a bit of a loss to know how what to do with her but mentioned that it was up to us as parents to so call 'give extension activities' (a phrase which was new to me at that stage!) - she has pinao lessons and thats about it so I think maybe the loud mum in the bistro might be right and private schools with their better resources and a less restrictive curriculum might do a better job - she is vv happy though.

Maggiems - our situations sound v similar - ds has lost a lot of self confidence as he's in a very goirl heavy class and I do think that at this age they concentrate much better than boys (on the whole) - he's always getting into toruble for forgetting to change his book and bring the correct PE kit etc - as much reliance in year 3 is put uponj them knwoning what's going on - being a June birthday doesn't help matters of course. I am thinking about changing them both to the private sector for differnet reasons but with a v heavy heart - we're lucky that money is no object re eductaion but the children are so nice at ds & dd's school its just impossible for ds's teacher to give him the attention he needs to flourish in a class of 27...not sure what we'll do yet quite but I am wondering if ds in paritcular needs a class size of 12- 15 and all the lovely sports & extra curricular stuff the lcoal prep schools offer even if he has to make friends with a bit of a rupert - and before you tell me otherwise they all are round here in the prep schools - lots of country estates etc - its certainly out of my comfort zone - as you can tell I worry about my ds and dd constantly re their education its not so much what they are not learning or doing its their enthusiasm for learning which they don't seem to instill at school at the mo...

doyouwantfrieswiththat · 20/05/2007 15:22

love that term 'a bit of a rupert' , are you an army wife ?

maggiems · 20/05/2007 16:25

Virgo - i know what you mean about worrying. I find it so hard not to compare. DT1 although not gifted and talented (well both are in their own way) he is doing very well at school. Girls are way ahead in terms of concentration and by in large are so much more mature, There is such a difference between a Summer boy and autumn girl who have to be in the same class. I am also feeling a bit unsure re our school also. We chose the school because although a distance away the class sizes were small, i.e approx 15 which I thought would be great for dt2. However the school has become really popular in the last couple of years , one reason being that 2 other schools are merging in the locality and parents arent happy hence lots are coming to our school The class size has turned out to be 21 with the class sixe in our local school only being 23. Worse still the really good headmaster in the boys school moved to our local school and we are having composite classes next year with a mix of yr2 and yr3 pupils and class sizes are going to be about 26 or 27. So not happy at all at the moment

JulietFarkinBravo · 20/05/2007 16:28

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Message withdrawn at poster's request.

maggiems · 20/05/2007 16:35

Just going back to the original thread, I suppose it depends on the way the mother was speaking, how loud and who she was speaking to but I dont see anything wrong with having "proud" conversations with close friends. Dt2 is very bright and I dont mind saying that because Dt1 struggles and I am also happy to say that. I suppose if I only had Dt1 I would feel I was bragging a bit but I sort of feel im not when I am happy to discuss Dt2 also.

I think when a child is advanced at the preschool age this is a good indicator that he/she is going to do well. However i dont agree that the opposite is always true, i.e if a child does not come across as clever in the early years it doesnt mean they wont turn out this way. Since I have been worried about my dt2 I have met so many people who say that their boys were similiar and struggled for quite a few years in primary school. My DH for example struggled a lot in primary school, he was always bottom of the class. Suddenly when he turned 13 it all fell into place and he came out with A's at A level and went to Uni. He is one of the brightest people I know.

lilmamma · 20/05/2007 16:57

wonder if daughter was a little s**t she would have shouted so loud !!

dinosaur · 20/05/2007 17:00

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This has been withdrawn by MNHQ at the poster's request.

FrannyandZooey · 20/05/2007 17:03

I don't see why it is harder to spot an especially advanced child age 4 or 5 than at any other age, personally.

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